I wanted a 10-year journal because to me it represents a faith that significant things will happen to me in the next 10 years. I am 26 years old as I start this journal, and I will be 37 when it is complete (it’s actually an 11-year journal, more on that in a bit). By 37 I believe I will have gotten a great job, gotten a great dog, met a great man, married him, had all the children we’re going to have, and bought a house. And between all of those things, I expect there to be great little things happening all the time! This journal is a simple way to document that.
A 10-year journal was not easy to find. There are lots of 5-year journals out there, but I wasn’t quite sure that all this awesome stuff would happen by 31. Literally the only 10-year journal my mom and I could find was this one on Amazon. At $40 it’s not cheap, but when you think about it it’s only $4 a year! What a steal.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the concept of a multi-year journal, allow me to explain. Basically each page of the journal is a day, and the day is divided into however many years the journal holds. So a 10-year journal has 10 “boxes” with the year by each. My journal starts in 2013 and ends in 2023, so it’s actually an 11-year journal, but no matter. Gives me an extra year to get in one last goal under the wire.
This journal claims to have “special features”, which made me kind of skeptical and anxious at first. I can be a little obsessive about having all of the blanks filled in and doing everything exactly right. So what if I don’t like the features? What if I don’t want to fill them out? Not having every single blank filled in would be catastrophic!!!
But then I looked the features over and thought, oh, I could do that.
The first big feature is the “carry-over page”. Four lines a day is great for most days, but every now and then something awesome happens and you need to say more! In that case, there’s a little space in each day for you to write the page number you’ve carried over to. The pages themselves are just big, lined pages. You write the date and year and keep writing!
The next feature is a scary one for me. Long-term planning. This starts out with one lined page. Just blank, no direction or anything. I think most people would use this to write down their goals for the next 10 years. I’m not a big goal person, but I’m thinking I will copy down my life list. After that is a page for each year. Each page is lined with a vertical line dividing the page down the middle. I think this is supposed to be where I set a goal for the year and then measure my progress at the beginning of the year, which just sounds HORRIBLE to me! I thought I might use it to list highlights of each year, but the top of the page says “looking ahead”. Any other ideas for this?
Before each month is this monthly overview page. It’s a grid with the years going across the top and the date going down the left side. There is a TINY box for each day. The introduction had some suggestions, but my favorite was to write down one word that best describes the entry for that day. That way it serves as kind of an index. Cool, right?
The next set of features is on the actual journal pages themselves. At the top of each page there is an empty box that can be used to notate birthdays or anniversaries. Then like I said already, there are four lines for each day for journaling, plus a little space to put a page number to refer to the carry-over page if I use it. There are also two circles, and a slash. The introduction suggested using the circles to draw the AM and PM weather (adding rays if it’s sunny, a raindrop if it’s rainy, etc), and the slash to notate important numbers like blood pressure, weight, etc. I like the idea of keeping track of the weather (especially around the holidays I always wonder what the weather was like last year), but I’d rather use that for the slash than the circles. But I’m still totally clueless as to what to use the circles for!
Another feature that makes me nervous is “keeping track”. There is one keeping track page for each year, and each page is divided into four quadrants. The first quadrant is labelled medical, the second is automobile, and the last two are blank. The idea is that I’m supposed to write down the date I went to the doctor and when I get my car serviced. This is boring to me, but I could see how it could be useful. I could write the date and why I went to the doctor (which is rare), and the date and how many miles were on my car. That’s cool right? I am still deciding what I want to use the last two quadrants for. I think one will be for books and I will write the date I finished a book and the title. Any ideas for the fourth quadrant?
The last feature is “special dates”. This is confusing to me because each page already as a space to put birthdays and stuff. I guess this can be for things like my graduation, friend’s weddings, the day I get engaged/pregnant, etc? Special but not necessarily something I need a yearly reminder about.
I think this is a very manageable project. There are a lot of little things to fill in, but I think I can keep up with it! What do you think about a multi-year journal? Have you ever kept one? Does this inspire you to? I bet you could totally DIY one if you wanted to. Any ideas for the parts I need ideas for???